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Saliva Biomarkers of Ageing and Health

Test Bed Vision:

“The future of human health resides in innovative platforms such as implantable biosensors and point-of-care devices that can extract real time information on the health status of individuals.”

The integrity of our DNA is under constant threat from the accumulation of damage due to the progression of ageing. Damage to DNA can predispose us to cancer, degenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases. A simple saliva test can help detect salivary biomarkers that can indicate the early onset of age-related disease.

The future of human health resides in innovative platforms such as implantable biosensors and point-of-care devices that can extract real time information on the health status of an individual. Those platforms can be achieved through the development and validation of novel biomarkers of health using samples that consumers can self-collect in a non-invasive manner.

There are genomic biomarkers for aging that can be feasibly measured in saliva. These include telomere length, DNA damage and base oxidation and mitochondrial DNA deletions. The aims of this test bed are to (i) validate salivary genomic biomarkers of ageing against conventional biomarkers in blood, (ii) Develop a variety of biosensors, including adapting the homogeneous entropy-drive biomolecular assay (HEBA), for the detection of salivary biomarkers and (iii) translate these new technologies into practice and enable implementation of a comprehensive saliva-based health surveillance program.

This test bed is led by Michael Fenech and Wayne Leifert from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity. Other co-investigators include Murat Gel and the newly appointed FSP post-doctoral fellow Maxime Francois. The project is also supported by Tori Nguyen who provides technical assistance.

This research test bed is a collaboration by staff from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity and Manufacturing Business Units.